Oct. 31, 2001 (SKI)--A few gadgets to boost power, eliminate discomfort, and heat up those turn-weary feet.
Ray Fougere is an aerospace engineer and part-time ski coach whose ingenious Booster Strap ($20-$35) can be found on the boots of Tommy Moe and dozens more of the world's best skiers. The Booster Strap replaces the stock powerstrap with an important distinction: The front of the Booster tucks inside the overlapping boot shell. When forward pressure is applied to the boot, the elastic strap stretches, promoting better control of the tips. Rather than banging into the shell and suddenly loading the forebody of the ski, the Booster allows for an expanded range of tip pressure. "I look at this not as a better mousetrap, but as making the mousetrap better," Fougere says. The Booster Strap comes in two flexes. Info: 877- 226-6783; theboosterstrap.com.
Oversized boots are the bane of good skiing. New boots are the smart solution, but The Eliminator ($24.95) is the next best thing-and a whole lot easier on the pocketbook. This self-molding custom tongue attaches to your existing boot tongue and can help reduce heel lift, shin bite, calf pressure, instep pain, muscle fatigue and toe bang. Disclosure: The Eliminator is the product of a pair of garage inventors with SKI Magazine ties: Steve Cohen and Jeff Rich co-direct SKI's annual boot test. The Eliminator comes in two sizes. Info: 800-575-4348; MasterfitU@aol.com.
AlpenHeat is the effort of Scott Nichols, Marc Fraoli and Neal Beidleman, three outdoorsmen who spend a lot of time on mountains in cold weather. It's a fact that warm feet are athletic feet, and AlpenHeat ($219) delivers the heat with a system run by a computer board. It's powered by a high-capacity, memory-free, nickel metal hydride battery pack, which translated into English means it's light and lasts a long time. The system has two heat settings, both of which have a turbo feature that increases the footbed's temperature by 25 percent for three minutes, then returns to the normal setting. The thin heating element fits inconspicuously under a footbed or custom orthotic. Additional footbeds cost $39.95. Info: 214-252-9565; alpenheat.com.